Bombardier and Hitachi challenge Deep Tube contract

BOMBARDIER AND Hitachi have launched a legal challenge to the proposed award to Siemens of a contract to build a new Piccadilly Line fleet.

Transport for London announced in June it intended to award a £1.5 billion contract to Siemens to build 94 new trains for the Piccadilly Line, subject to a statutory standstill period. Part of TfL’s Deep Tube Upgrade Programme, the intention is that the same design of train will then be introduced on the Bakerloo, Central and Waterloo & City Lines, making the eventual order around 250 trains. The first train is planned to be delivered in August 2023, with the full fleet in service by 2026. A separate procurement will cover a new signalling and control system for the lines.

Three bids were received for the Deep Tube contract, from Siemens, Alstom and the Bombardier/ Hitachi joint venture. The latter two companies announced in 2016 that they intended to form the joint venture, under which production of the trains would have been shared between Bombardier’s Derby factory and Hitachi’s Newton Aycliffe plant in County Durham. They have since announced a similar joint venture to bid for the HS2 rolling stock contract.

In a statement, the companies said: ‘Hitachi Rail and Bombardier Transportation confirm that they have issued claims in the High Court against London Underground Ltd’s decision not to select our consortium bid for the Deep Tube Upgrade Programme. We are precluded from commenting further, as this is now a matter for the Court.’

A TfL spokesperson said: ‘We have been notified by Hitachi Rail Europe Limited and Bombardier Transportation UK Limited that they have issued claim forms in the High Court in relation to the decision to award the Deep Tube Upgrade Programme contract to Siemens Mobility Limited. We will review these claims and will respond to them. We see no good basis for these claims to be issued and are disappointed that these companies have chosen to take this step. We are unable to make any further comment at this point.’

The award of the Piccadilly Line contract to Siemens was set to facilitate the company’s investment in a new factory at Goole, East Yorkshire. A Siemens spokesperson commented: ‘We believe our offer represents a strong and innovative solution combined with value for money for the UK taxpayer. As the procurement is now subject to legal action we are unable to comment further on this subject.’